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How to convert my flashgun to uv flash


3 replies to this topic

#1 Akpe

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Posted 30 July 2018 - 10:42

Hello everyone

Is there a way i can turn my canon 580ex into a uv flashgun? Its useless to me now as i mainly shoot with ad200's and ad600's

am looking to shoot stuff like the exaple below
(not my image, i got it online)
Attached Image: Fluorescent.jpg

#2 Andrea B.

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Posted 01 August 2018 - 14:38

Most likely that photograph you show used some kind of black light for illumination. You cannot use a UV-flash on people's eyes. Too harmful !!! UV and Your Eyes :: UV Safety Reference
Please don't forget to use eye protection when using UV-flashes or UV-LEDs. B) B) B)

Anything we have about modifying flash guns could be found using this search tag: UV Lighting
You will find a lot of different UV-capable flashes mentioned. However, I don't think we have anything about your specific Canon 580ex.

The primary step in conversion of a Xenon flash gun is to remove the UV-blocking filter over the flash tube and replace it with a UV-pass filter. You must also rely on your lens filter to block any unwanted visible or infrared output from the flash gun. Flash guns are very strong and can force some unwanted visible or infrared light through a typical UV-pass filter placed over the flash tube. Check also to determine whether your Xenon flash tube is coated or not. You need an uncoated tube.



The following sticky contains some general info about the different types of UV lighting: UV-capable flashes, UV-LED torches/flashlights, Xenon lamps or UV-studio lights. Scroll down to the section headed UV Lighting.
<> Sticky :: UV Photography: Cams, Mods, Lights, Links <>

Hope this helps get you on the way. :lol:
Andrea G. Blum
Often found hanging out with flowers & bees.

#3 Akpe

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Posted 04 August 2018 - 14:03

View PostAndrea B., on 01 August 2018 - 14:38, said:

Most likely that photograph you show used some kind of black light for illumination. You cannot use a UV-flash on people's eyes. Too harmful !!! UV and Your Eyes :: UV Safety Reference
Please don't forget to use eye protection when using UV-flashes or UV-LEDs. B) B) B)

Anything we have about modifying flash guns could be found using this search tag: UV Lighting
You will find a lot of different UV-capable flashes mentioned. However, I don't think we have anything about your specific Canon 580ex.

The primary step in conversion of a Xenon flash gun is to remove the UV-blocking filter over the flash tube and replace it with a UV-pass filter. You must also rely on your lens filter to block any unwanted visible or infrared output from the flash gun. Flash guns are very strong and can force some unwanted visible or infrared light through a typical UV-pass filter placed over the flash tube. Check also to determine whether your Xenon flash tube is coated or not. You need an uncoated tube.



The following sticky contains some general info about the different types of UV lighting: UV-capable flashes, UV-LED torches/flashlights, Xenon lamps or UV-studio lights. Scroll down to the section headed UV Lighting.
<> Sticky :: UV Photography: Cams, Mods, Lights, Links <>

Hope this helps get you on the way. :lol:

Thanks for the reply Andrea

#4 dabateman

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Posted 05 August 2018 - 00:27

If you are looking for that look, you are better getting a bunch of black led bulbs from Home Depot or Amazon. These will typically be around 405nm and will have this look with dyes or tonic water. The black light compact fluorescent bulbs actually emit quite a bit of uv and you should be careful with them. Also for animals, including humans, don't buy the 365nm led bulbs as these will be dangerous for the eyes.

However, if you still want to modify the flash. You will first need to buy a sheet of clear PMMA. This can be found on ebay for around $4 for a 10 cm x 10cm x 1mm sheet.
2. Watch many videos on YouTube at least 10 times on how to disassemble or fix your flash. I did a quick search and there were many. This will show you how to take it apart and remove the front uv blocking diffuser.
3. Watch videos on YouTube about how to safely discharge a flash capacitor. At least 10 times! The capacitor in a flash WILL KILL YOU. You need to be very careful.
4. Once disassemble, remove the fron diffuser screen and measure the size you will need to cut your PMMA sheet. Then use that in the flash and put it back together.
5. Now if your lucky the flash bulb was not coated and you will have a full spectrum flash. If when you took it apart the flash bulb looked yellow. Then you are unlucky and have an anti uv coated bulb.
6. Order a replacement bulb for the 580. From ebay. I saw these were $10. The cheaper, sometimes the better. The cheaper Chinese ones are typically not coated. But you will have to solder it in place of the original bulb.

That should be it. I have had good luck with clear PMMA and much cheaper than a custom quartz window.